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Once Labour MPs could be relied up to recommend robust reading. Marx maybe, or something with a social conscience. Now they are falling over themselves to endorse a public schoolboy called Harry Potter.
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist - which perennially topped the lists of Labour MPs\' favourite novels before the 1997 election - has been overtaken by J.K.Rowling\'s classless Harry Potter. Only one of 100 MPs asked to donate a book to their local library chose Robert Tressell\'s distinctly Old Labour classic.
\"That says it all really,\" said MP Austin Mitchell, who modestly bequeathed his own book, Westminster In Pictures to Grimsby library. \"I\'m only shocked they are not recommending
management manuals and the latest public relations texts.\"
Most of the books in the nation\'s public school libraries predate the 1969 moon landing, the end of the Vietnam War and the breakup of the Soviet Union, according to critics who say schools need help in offering students newer, relevant works.
And more importantly, says one lawmaker seeking federal funding, the outdated books often don\'t reflect the
diversity of today\'s schoolrooms.
\"Students continually encounter books from a period when authors viewed the world from only a white perspective,\" said Sen. Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat who argues that Congress can and should help school libraries update their materials.
Dr. Alexa Canady was on academic probation as an
undergraduate at the University of Michigan, so she has
a hard time believing she is now a mentor to young
women. \"I didn\'t consider myself a role model until it
became clear that other people did,\" said Canady, chief
of neurosurgery at Children\'s Hospital of Michigan in
Canady was at the Flint Public Library talking to a group
of mostly women and girls Tuesday about the significant
role libraries have played in her life. The program was
part of the library\'s Women\'s History Month celebration.
Since openingone year ago thanks to the approval of a $2.85 million bond, the Eagle Public Library has more than doubled its collection and circulation rates. And the number of people visiting the library has jumped from 50 to 288 each day.
The Ann Arbor District Library\'s former finance director used library accounts to buy several thousand dollars
worth of personal merchandise and services, including a
dishwasher, medical care and vehicle repairs, authorities
alleged in court records.
Ann Arbor police and the library board\'s president on
Tuesday confirmed that an embezzlement investigation is
under way because of purchases Don Dely made with a library debit card andcharge account between 1997 and November of last year. No charges have been filed.
Foxnews has this story from ATHENS, Greece
It began with a small fire. About 200 religious zealots and ultra-conservatives fed the flames in January with copies of a book they call blasphemous because of passages about the possible sexual longings of Jesus Christ.
The book burning, however, was just kindling for a bigger confrontation. Political leaders, clergymen and scholars have been drawn onto the unstable ground between the nation\'s commitment to free expression and the Orthodox Christian heritage that figures strongly in Greece\'s ethnic identity. -- Read More
Super alert reader Bob Cox sends in This Link to a funny cartoon.
Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley say they have come a step closer to solving a frustrating problem familiar to most Web surfers--the broken hyperlink.
In a recent academic paper, computer scientists Thomas A. Phelps and Robert Wilensky outlined a way to create links among Web pages that will work even if documents are moved elsewhere. While researchers have tried to tackle the issue before, Internet search experts said the paper describes a potentially elegant solution to a widespread and long-recognized puzzle. -- Read More
This story from NJ on an angry library board. This is interesting because they are talking about hiring a private company now.
Frustrated with the rapid decline of its library system, the board of trustees has ousted its longtime director and may hire a private company to run day-to-day operations.
The board voted last week to fire Library Director Kwaku Amoabeng as of today following a board-commissioned study that called the overall library service \"pathetic\" and suggested that only a complete overhaul would save the once-proud institution. -- Read More
-- A Zeeland parent is trying to break the spell that has taken the popular Harry Potter books off school library shelves.
Zeeland Superintendent Gary Feenstra and Curriculum Director Chris Guimond-Cairns received written complaints Tuesday from parent Nancy Zennie, who wants Feenstra to drop his restrictions that prevent Harry Potter books from being read aloud in class, placed on school library shelves and circulated freely. -- Read More
janet clark writes \"All the discussion about e-books reminds me of a piece by Isaac Asimov (in an essay \'The Ancient and the ultimate\', _Asimov on science_, 1982. Maybe it\'s old hat to everyone, but it is relevant.
BREAKTHROUGH! Introducing the Bio-Optic Organized Knowledge device - B.O.O.K.
BOOK is a revolutionary breakthrough in thecnology; no wires, no electric circuits, no batteries, nothing to be connected or switched on. It\'s easy to use. Even a child can operate it.\" -- Read More
A story on labour troubles in FL.
Nonprofessional employees at the Orange County Library System are again trying to form a union.\"It\'s just been really difficult [at the library],\" said Sandi Rogers, an audio-visual clerk. \"It\'s very bitter and very divisive.\"
For the past two weeks, union representatives have been distributing a petition among the 180-plus support staff at the downtown library and 12 branches. -- Read More
Andrew Goodman writes \"Close scrutiny of the Open Directory Project (www.dmoz.org) is uncovering a series of series flaws in this and other volunteer-edited directories.
\"Open Directory Category Editors are volunteers -- indeed, an army or self-governing republic of net-citizens -- but their numbers are, nonetheless, finite. It\'s not open to all comers. A recent scathing commentary by one disgruntled ex-editor, Gary Mosher, has described the army of editors as \"as a horrible mix of corrupt generals and untrained privates,\" since \"there are only two kinds of \'guide\' volunteer: The passionate, often self-interested, \'subject spammer\' and the virtuously motivated, but web-ignorant, \'want-to-belonger\'.\" -- Read More
Carlos Benito Amat writes I\'ve noticed your splendid service through the latest edition (February, 2000) of D.Lib Magazine.
Maybe you\'d like to know about other initiatives like LISNews, for instance NIDo.
NIDo stands for Noticiario de Información y Documentación (or News in Information and Documentation) and is a free service based in Spain with a similiar profile: news in the Library and Information Science fields.
Obviously, stories are written in Spanish. The are updated weekly by a group of 3 documentalists also on a non professional basis.
You can go for it at http://www.sisdoc.es/html/Servicios/Recursos/nido.html
Another call for the death of the printed word.
If you believe the hype, library stacks are quaking, paper manufacturers are white as their sheets and publishers are taking cover. Why? Because, according to internet visionaries, the book is dead.
Yes, the book, that hand-held paper and print creation we\'ve loved for around 1300 years, is going to become extinct. We won\'t stop reading or writing. It\'s just that, as Dick Brass, Microsoft\'s vice president of technology and development said, by 2020 \"90% of everything you read will be delivered in an electronic form\". -- Read More
This Story from the Las Vegas Sun.
\"Draw 50 Monsters,\" written by Lee J. Ames and published by Doubleday, was checked out of the public school\'s library by a student this week.
A local elementary school is being criticized by a Christian pastor for having a library book that teaches students to sketch caricatures of the devil.
The principal of Joseph Neal Elementary School removed the book from the school\'s shelves Thursday, pending review by the library committee.
And while the complaint is primarily based on religion, the controversy is further exacerbated by a culture of fear and confusion about school violence. -- Read More
Story on the death of an scary law in SC.
A Senate bill that would have held public libraries criminally liable for allowing children to view smut on the Internet has stalled.
A Senate Judiciary subcommittee decided to not deal with the bill after a public hearing this week.
\"I\'m confident it (the bill) won\'t go anywhere,\" said Jim Johnson, director of the South Carolina State Library.
\"I don\'t think it\'s appropriate for anybody to set library policies other than a county\'s local library board,\" Johnson said. \"It would be the same thing if the state told the library what books to buy.\" -- Read More
The Toronto Star has This Story on how osme libraries are letting people eat. Good to see libraries changing with the times.
For years, librarians have read the riot act to patrons caught eating or drinking in the stacks. But they now say the influence of Chapters and other big bookstores - where customers wander the aisles with food and drink from the in-store cafés - has spilled over to libraries, making it tougher to enforce the no-food-or-drink rule. ``I think people are a little on edge\'\' about the change, said chief librarian Mike Ridley. ``There\'s concern that the collection may be at risk. The fact is, people take books out and do even worse things to them at home.\'\' -- Read More
The Boston Herald was one of many papers in the U.S. to pick up on this story.
A group of historians and librarians who oppose a rule that lets federal agencies destroy computer records as long as they keep a copy on paper or microfilm lost a Supreme Court appeal today.
The court, without comment, turned away an appeal in which the librarians and historians argued that paper records cannot be searched and indexed as easily as electronic records. -- Read More
According to Wired, the little privacy we have on the internet may be too much.
The ease of hiding one\'s identity on the Net is giving police migraines and justifies providing broad new powers to law enforcement, the White House says in a forthcoming report.
The federal government should take steps to improve online traceability and promote international cooperation to identify Internet users, according to a draft of the report commissioned by President Clinton. -- Read More